RCR Post Race Report -- Brickyard 400

RCR Post Race Report -- Brickyard 400

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Published in Sprint Cup Series News
Monday, 30 July 2012 10:29
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RCR Post Race Report -- Brickyard 400 Getty Images

Race Highlights:        

  • Richard Childress Racing teammates finished 13th (Kevin Harvick), 14th (Paul Menard) and 32nd (Jeff Burton).
  • Harvick maintained an average running position of 17.594 during the Brickyard 400 while spending 69 of the 160 laps (43.1 percent) running within the top 15. 
  • Menard maintained the eighth-best Average Running Position (11.688) according to NASCAR's Loop Data Statistics.
  • Spending 153 of 160 Laps in the Top 15 (95.6 percent), Menard ranked fifth in the Loop Data Statistics category.    
  • Burton made 69 green-flag passes over the course of the 160-lap event.
  • Jimmie Johnson captured his fourth career win at the Brickyard and was followed to the finish line by Kyle Busch, Greg Biffle, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Jeff Gordon.  
  • The next scheduled Sprint Cup Series race is the Pennsylvania 400 at Pocono Raceway on Sunday, August 5. The race is scheduled to be televised live on ESPN beginning at 12 p.m. Eastern Time and broadcast live on the Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.



  2011 CC Team Icon 27 NSCS Menards   

Paul Menard and the No. 27 NIBCO/Menards Team Finish 14th at the Brickyard


Returning to the site of his career-first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series win, Paul Menard made his best start of eighth at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Sunday's Brickyard 400 and drove the No. 27 NIBCO/Menards Chevrolet to a 14th-place finish. Shortly after the green flag dropped on the 160-lap affair, the 2011 Brickyard 400 Champion reported that he was battling a tight-handling condition on the No. 27 Chevrolet as he fell in the running order. He remained a fixture in the top 15 for the first half of the race, breaking back into the top 10 by lap 68. During routine green-flag and caution period pit stops, the Slugger Labbe-led crew made air pressure and chassis adjustments, which improved the car's handling. Following the final caution period of the afternoon on lap 134, Menard restarted from the ninth position, but as the field took the green flag, the No. 27 Chevrolet made contact with the car in front of it, resulting in minor front-end damage that caused an extremely tight-handling condition for the closing laps. The Eau Claire, Wis., native ultimately took the checkered flag at the Brickyard in the 14th position.


Start - 8                                          Finish - 14                                      Laps Led - 0                Points - 16



"There were certainly a lot of great memories from last year's win on everyone's mind this weekend and it was great to be back at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, but we had one focus and that was to win again. The NIBCO/Menards Chevrolet was solid all weekend, but started off really tight in today's race. The No. 27 team was great in the pits all day and the handling was better until that last restart. We made contact with the car in front of us and were just really tight until the end. We had a top-10 finish until then."



  2011 CC Team Logo 29 Jimmy Johns
Kevin Harvick and the Jimmy John's Team Settle for a 13th-Place Finish at Indianapolis Motor Speedway


Kevin Harvick and the No. 29 Jimmy John's team settled for a 13th-place finish in the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway after battling handling issues during Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event. The Bakersfield, Calif., native started the 160-lap race from the 27th position and reported that the Jimmy John's Chevrolet had an extremely tight-handling condition, but shifted to a loose-handling condition as the race progressed. Throughout multiple green and yellow-flag pit stops, the Shane Wilson-led Jimmy John's crew made several adjustments to combat the handling issues Harvick was battling, and the Richard Childress Racing driver worked his way into the top 15 by lap 90. During the late-race runs the 36-year-old driver reported that the tight-handling condition had returned, and the No. 29 Chevrolet was becoming increasingly worse as the race neared the end. The No. 29 crew made one final attempt to alleviate the handling issue during their final scheduled yellow-flag pit stop on lap 125, but Harvick continued to fight the tight-handling condition and ultimately crossed the finish line in the 13th position. Harvick remains sixth in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver championship point standings, 78 points behind the leader. 


Start - 27                                          Finish - 13                                      Laps Led - 0                Points - 6



"This was not the result I was looking for today. Unfortunately we struggled all weekend to find the right setup for the Jimmy John's Chevrolet, but we fought hard and salvaged a top-15 finish."  




Late-Race Issue Relegates Jeff Burton to 32nd-Place Finish in the 2012 Brickyard 400


After running in the top 20 for most of the afternoon at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Jeff Burton's No. 31 Rain-X Chevrolet suffered a broken brake rotor and relegated the Richard Childress Racing driver to a 32nd-place finish in the 2012 Brickyard 400. Starting from the 21st position, the South Boston, Va., native worked his way into the top 20 where he remained for the majority of the 19th annual NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event at the historic 2.5-mile track. Working with crew chief Drew Blickensderfer and the No. 31 Rain-X Chevrolet pit crew to improve the handling of the car, Burton entered the top 15 after the halfway mark of the 160-lap affair. On lap 126, the 21-time Sprint Cup Series race winner radioed to the team there was a problem with left-front wheel of the RCR machine. The left-front tire blew as Burton brought the car to pit road for service. After analyzing the wheel, Blickensderfer diagnosed the issue as a broken brake rotor and Burton drove the car to the garage area where the Rain-X crew fixed it promptly, returning the No. 31 Chevrolet to the track in less than eight laps listed in the 35th position. Burton spent the final 20 laps running consistent top-15 lap times and the 45-year-old driver gained three positions scoring a 32nd-place result with the Rain-X Chevrolet. Burton sits 20th in Sprint Cup Series driver championship point standings.


Start - 21                        Finish - 32                        Laps Led - 0                  Points - 20    



 "It was a tough day for the No. 31 Rain-X Chevrolet team. We were hanging around the top 15 when the brake rotor broke and sent us to the garage area for repairs. I'm not sure what happened, but proud of the team for getting me back out there to gain some spots in the end. This team never gives up. We showed some speed once again during the race and had very productive practice sessions all weekend. We just need to stay positive and look forward to Pocono Raceway next weekend."



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Steven B. Wilson

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